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Office Depot picks Florida over Illinois

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Office Depot said Tuesday it has chosen Boca Raton, Fla. for its new headquarters over Naperville.

Office Depot completed its merger with Naperville-based OfficeMax last month, but the pair hadn’t yet announced where the combined company would be based.

The companies asked for tax breaks from both states. Illinois lawmakers adjourned last week before making a decision.

Last month, the company named Roland Smith, the former head of the U.S. unit of supermarkets operator Delhaize Group, as its new CEO, hoping to tap into his turnaround and integration background.

The company said the evaluation of its headquarters selection was based on operation and employee costs, lease obligations, tax implications and government incentives and ability for expansion.

Office Depot said it will offer jobs to Naperville workers at its Boca Raton location, but it didn’t say how many.

The former OfficeMax has more than 2,000 corporate employees in Illinois – 1,600 of whom are in Naperville. The rest of the nonretail workforce is spread over three other locations: its Itasca distribution center and customer service centers in Ottawa and Peru.

It said its current Florida headquarters has “ample space to accommodate associates who will relocate from Illinois.” The company also didn’t provide a timeline for transition.

Together, the two companies had sales of $17 billion in the year that ended in September and have about 66,000 employees.

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©2013 the Chicago Tribune

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